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MADRAS, Ore. -- Beekeepers in Bend had to work nearly 12 hours to rescue half a billion bees from the side of Highway 97 north of Madras Thursday.

The bees had been buzzing along the highway since Sunday, when a semi-truck transporting them swerved to avoid hitting an animal and rolled.

More: Truckload of bees spills in crash near Madras

Bee apprentices from the Central Oregon Beekeepers Association wore protective gear as they carefully picked up each of the 200 hives by hand.

The bees were taken to nearby farms where they were checked out before getting sent on to their original destination.

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